Schumer, Higgins call for more agents at northern border

Sep 5, 2019

Standing at the foot of West Ferry Street with the Peace Bridge in the background, on Thursday Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer announced he will introduce a bill requiring a minimum number of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Agents along the U.S. border with Canada.

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer with Representative Brian Higgins
Credit Thomas O'Neil-White

Calling it the Border Officer Utilization for National Defense or B.O.U.N.D. Act, Schumer said the Act is in response to staffing shortages along the northern border which, Schumer said, was due to more agents being assigned to the southern border. He said this has numerous issues.

“You don’t create huge traffic jams here in Western New York, because there are maybe some problems somewhere else,” he said. “And it’s just not causing a traffic jam here. It’s hurting trade. It’s hurting tourism, and creates security concerns as well.”

He said the Act is not only for Western New York points of entry like the Peace Bridge, which sees nearly 4 million crossings per year, but for all points of entry along the northern border.

“Maine and Vermont and Michigan and Washington State. The whole border. We will have a lot of bi-partisan support.”

A C.B.P. Official released a statement saying over the course of several months they have reassigned 731 Officers from points of entry all over the country to along the southern border. However, as of August 4th they have reduced the number down to 400 with the returning officers being “equitably distributed back to their ports of entry.”